by Kate Evans
The Walgreens in Berkeley Springs cut back their weekend and evening pharmacy hours in mid-May but the reduced pharmacy hours are temporary until the store can hire a second pharmacist. They’re down to just one pharmacist right now.
State law limits pharmacists to working a certain number of hours a week. There is currently a nationwide shortage of pharmacists.
New Walgreens pharmacy hours as of May 16 are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The pharmacy is closed on Saturday and Sunday. The pharmacist takes a break every day from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Some services may not be available then.
Walgreens has told customers they’re sorry for any inconvenience as a result of the limited pharmacy hours.
Local residents have encountered trouble getting prescriptions when family members were discharged from hospitals during a weekend, and making it to the pharmacy after work to get medicines during the month that the new hours have been in place.
Kris Lathan, Walgreens Corporate Communications and Media Relations Representative, said in an email that Berkeley Springs is one of their communities that’s been impacted by staffing shortages.
“In those instances, we have adjusted hours of operation with the goal of creating minimal disruption for customers and patients. For example we will direct customers to other nearby Walgreens locations for prescription needs, care and support,” Lathan said.
Adjusted store hours can be seen online on the store locator and also on the Walgreens mobile app, she said.
“Patients and customers who have questions about their medications can also talk to a Walgreens pharmacist using the Pharmacist Video Chat feature available 24/7 on Walgreens mobile app and website,” Lathan noted.